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Sales Professionals Know What They Are Prospecting for, Do You?

“The foundational root of all success in sales is a fanatical focus on prospecting”
Jeb Blount

What is the purpose of prospecting? How would you define prospecting?

Prospect is from the Latin word prospectus which means a "view or outlook."

What is your outlook or view when it comes to prospecting?

Ask many in sales this question and you will hear a resounding, "to find deals." Or, they may say something such as, "to convince people to give them an appointment."

Unfortunately, many believe if they go on enough appointments and talk to enough people then everything will work out fine. Keep in mind, some sprinkle in some fairy dust on top of this logical thinking.

You might hear, "sales is a numbers game.” If you see enough people and make enough presentations, then you'll close enough deals.

Come on people, how old school! That archetype was from decades ago. What is concerning, most sales managers still believe, preach and teach this approach.

"Stop looking for needle in haystack. Stop looking for a deal to close in 30 days."

PLAY ALONG WITH ME

Let's all agree sales is a numbers game. If your goal is to speak with "X" number of people, to set "X" number of appointments, to close "X" number of deals, what happens to you when you fail to achieve the goal?

You feel like crap and you're miserable, as your quota breathing manager is lurking over your shoulder watching your every move. No matter how strong-willed you are you can only take so much.

Here's the question for all you, what should you do?

What are prospects? They're people, plain and simple.

SALES PROFESSIONALS CHANGE THEIR THINKING

I urge you to take prospecting action. Change your results by changing your thinking.

A sales professional views prospecting as an art. Their canvass is a human to human conversation.

I get it, sales are a numbers game, yeah, yeah, yeah... however; professionals shift numbers logic to...

  • How many new conversations am I opening up every week?
  • How many new relationships am I opening up every week?
  • How many new social connections am I adding to my network every week?

I encourage you to take ownership of your sales funnel. I realize it. I get you have a monthly quota and quarter ending bonuses. I lived in your shoes, but without an ever-flowing relationship funnel you will never have an ever-flowing sales funnel.

What is inside your relationship network?

What if prospecting was about more than finding a deal in the 30-day window? What if it included building relationships and driving conversations in order to create the foundation for a healthy sales funnel?

Relationship development leads to opportunity development which leads to sales development.

Sales professionals are obsessed with developing their relationship funnel.

HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU KNOW?

According to Gartner and their research into the B2B buying journey,

"The typical buying group for a complex B2B solution involves six to 10 decision makers‚ each armed with four or five pieces of information they’ve gathered independently and must deconflict with the group."

If you apply this statement to prospecting then the question for you becomes...

How many relationships are you opening to effectively manage a sales and relationship funnel?

Filling up a relationship funnel requires two-way communication and conversation. Building a healthy and credible relationship funnel means leading with insight, education and storytelling.

What are you doing to earn the right to have a conversation?
Are you prospecting for the now? Are you prospecting for the later?

SALES PROFESSIONALS MANAGE THE FUNNELS

A favorite saying of mine is, "Sales reps are consistently inconsistent." Prospecting is part of the sales profession. I don't care what others may think! Prospecting is a non-negotiable daily activity but why does it become a negotiable activity for many?

Sales professionals know what they are prospecting for while sales reps find excuses.


When it comes to prospecting, I encourage all of you to take a mental snapshot of the number 8. The curves of the number 8 correlate to relationships moving in, around and out of the funnel as they move in, around and out of the sales funnel.

How you develop, nurture and build a healthy relationship funnel will play a significant part in the strength of your sales funnel.

"You must be consistent with your prospecting efforts or accept inconsistent sales results as a way of life."


PROSPECTING IS A NONNEGOTIABLE ACTIVITY

We all know how important the correct amount of sleep and exercise has in maintaining your health, then why does prospecting seem to be one of those things many should do more of but struggle to do it?

I get it, you brush off prospecting because you all have a lot going on in your busy day. Come on sales peeps! How many hours in a given week do you screw off?

Sales professionals keep prospecting the main thing

Unfortunately, many in sales prioritize their to-do list based on urgency, thus prospecting never gets their full attention until it becomes an actual emergency.

If you wait until your pipeline looks like the Sahara Desert, then it's already too late. The truth is you should be prospecting (and you know it) when times are good, not when they become desperate.

“There is no easy button in sales. Prospecting is hard, emotionally draining work, and it is the price you have to pay to earn a high income.”
Jeb Blount

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